Every summer, millions of kids pack up trunks, suitcases, bug nets and swim suits and head off into the unknown. Going to “sleep away” camp for the first time is a huge step in a child’s life. And, I’ve discovered, an even bigger step in a Mom’s!
The freedom from sibling squabbling and extra demands is luxurious, but it comes at a price. For me, it was lost sleep. The first night my son was away, I obsessively stared at my weather app, set to the town he was in, picturing him asleep but with his blankets fallen to the ground.
As day one, two, and then three passed with no phone call home, I realized this week was probably a “go” and that I should relax into it. It took some doing, but going out to lunch or breakfast nearly every day with the remaining kid has helped. Also added a few pounds I do believe.
The theme “summer camp” is a storytellers dream. Today is pick up day, and I intend to have a pen and notebook nearby as my son gives me the blow-by-blow, because I just know some idea is going to lodge itself in my fingertips and demand to be written.
There are already legions of great books based on the time honored tradition of sleeping outside and communing with mosquitos. I found that reading a few together before my son left was a great way to prepare us both. Here are some book suggestions for you and your little camper!
For a couple of funny picture books about summer camp, here’s a great post by Mia Wenjen on the subject:
…And here are some you could tuck in the suitcase of a kid going to “Gramma Camp”:
Do you have your own favorite “summer camp” story? I’d love to hear it in the comments below.